Membership status: Strategic Partner
H&M Group was founded in Sweden in 1947 and is now the world’s second-largest fashion company. As well as H&M, the group’s brands include Afound, ARKET, COS, H&M Home, Monki, & Other Stories, Weekday and most recently, H&M Move.
As of 2021, H&M Group has more than 4,800 stores in 77 markets, with online shopping available in 57 countries. The group directly employs more than 100,000 people.
H&M Group joined the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Network in 2015. In 2016, the group announced its ambition to become a circular business, designing all its products for circularity by 2025 and achieving net zero by 2040.
The group is transitioning to a circular ecosystem for its products, supply chains, and customer journeys. This ecosystem will transform how it designs and creates products and systems, works with suppliers and partners, and interacts with customers. It is built on the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s vision for a circular economyA systems solution framework that tackles global challenges like climate change, biodiversity loss, waste, and pollution. It is based on three principles, driven by design: eliminate waste and pollution, circulate products and materials (at their highest value), and regenerate nature. where design eliminates waste and pollution, circulates products and materials, and regenerates nature:
Circular products: Creating products that are made to last from safe, recycled, and more sustainably sourced materials (that are either naturally grown, cultivated or created using renewable processes) that can recirculate multiple times.
Circular supply chains: Creating systems that recirculate products and support circular production processes and material flows.
Circular customer journeys: Providing accessible ways to experience and engage in circular fashion where products are used more, repaired, reused, and recycled.
“Operating in a key sector of the global economy, H&M’s vision for applying circular models represents a significant opportunity to scale up the transition. We are delighted to be working with H&M to build momentum towards the system shift that our economy needs to work in the long term.”
Dame Ellen MacArthur, Founder and Chair of Trustees, Ellen MacArthur Foundation
“With our size comes responsibility. The way fashion is consumed and produced today is not sustainable. We have to transform the industry we are in. Our ambition is to transform from a linear model to become circular.”
Pascal Brun, Head of Sustainability at H&M
The circular economy in action at H&M Group: circular design
The circular economy is underpinned by design. Throughout H&M Group's Strategic Partnership with the Foundation, the company has explored the role of design across its operations.
H&M Group was among the first participants in The Jeans Redesign and contributed to creating the guidelines. Brands H&M and Weekday joined the project when it was launched in 2019 and launched their first circular denim collections in October 2020. Monki also released a collection in 2022.
H&M Group is exploring different models to meet shifting customer behaviours while delivering on climate, water, waste reduction, and social targets. This includes circular business model pilots across its brands, including resale at Weekday, rental at H&M and Arket, and remaking at Monki.
H&M Group shared its circular design story as part of the Foundation’s book, Circular Design for Fashion. In 2021, the group launched its Circulator guide to support the circular design of products. The Group aims to design all its products for circularity by 2025.
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